Chinese Super League News: Shanghai SIPG Acquires Portuguese Defender Ricardo Carvalho
Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG FC has completed the signing of Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho on Wednesday via free-agency from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco.
Carvalho, 38, was a former Chelsea and Real Madrid standout from 2004 to 2013 before he was acquired by the French club in the summer of 2013 also on a free transfer. He stayed for three seasons with Monaco, scoring two goals in a total of 118 appearances in all competitions, before his contract with Les Monégasques expired last summer.
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SIPG said to have already completed his signing "by the end of winter training". However, the official announcement was postponed because the new rules regarding the number of imports per team have "forced" the coaching staff to really consider if he will have a key role in the squad, as per the South China Morning Post.
The Portugal international, who won last year's UEFA European Championship with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and winning-goal scorer Eder of Lille, will join the star-studded import lineup of head coach André Villas-Boas, which includes Brazilians Hulk, Oscar, and Elkeson with Uzbek midfielder Odil Ahmedov.
Carvalho is said to be the oldest player who has ever won a Euro title. The 6-foot center back won three Premier League titles with Chelsea and one La Liga championship with Real Madrid in his 20-year senior career.
"We welcome the arrival of Carvalho and we are convinced that he has both the ability and the experience to strengthen our defense next season," SIPG said through an official statement, via 90min.
The Chinese Football Association has put down new regulations last month with regards to the new limit of foreign players per squad that can play on the pitch at the same time. From the previous four per team, the CFA has cut it down to three, with a local under-23 player getting the fourth spot in each club's starting lineup.
This new ruling will be implemented in the 2017 Chinese Super League season, which will start next month.